The Moon and wine
2018 a dream vintage at Clos Monicord
At Clos Monicord, the influence of the Moon on the vines and the wine is proven. The Moon is a star of the sanctity. After all, the Moon is responsible for the tides. This is why it seems obvious that it has an influence on vitivinicultural cultural practices.
The Moon is this feminine principle that allows Joep to connect to the vine in a Yin way. This relationship becomes deeper and at the same time more spiritual.
But to be in good connection with the stars in order to succeed in the 2018 vintage, Joep must have his feet firmly anchored in the earth. And that's good, because he has.
The Moon in a dream
It is enough to remember poems and songs to see how much the Moon makes you dream. Perhaps this deep, subtle and imperceptible practice to the outside gaze may seem useless. But, being sensitive to an underlying dimension of viticulture linked to the lunar force means being able to grasp the issues that often escape ordinary mortals. The risk is of course to make a mistake, but the game is worth the candle. Because by letting oneself be guided by one's intuition and by relegating well-defined calculations to the closet, happy events occur naturally. Being tenacious in action favors this technique which requires patience and perseverance while letting go.
The Moon, the vine and wine: from a dram to reality
Working with the moon requires equipping yourself with the lunar calendar where all the phases of the moon are listed. This method is a different approach to life from conventional viticulture. To do this, caution and organisation are the key words, associated with the lunar calendar which is based on the principle of biodynamics. The lunar calendar was created by Rudolf Steiner in 1924. His method defines the root, leaf, flower or fruit days according to the cycle of the Moon. Thus, Joep uses the lunar phases to best support the decisions and wine-growing activities of Clos Monicord. However, in addition to these different categories, it takes into account the lunar nodes and the Moon in descending or ascending phase.
Lunar node and adaptation at Clos Monicord
But, if it was so simple everyone would do it… It’s a bit more complicated than that. Since twice a month the Moon intersects the Earth's plane of rotation around the Sun. This phenomenon is called lunar node, it disturbs the vegetative cycle of the vine. It is advisable not to intervene on the vine and the wine during this phase. All the subtlety is there! And as with luck, these days do not always fall on a Sunday. When Joep can, he anticipates so as not to find himself carrying out agricultural work when the time is not right.
Closer to the Earth : Descending Moon
When the Moon is waning, it is closer to Earth. And, at Clos Monicord, Joep knows that this is the optimum time to prune his vines. Because naturally, the sap returns to the roots. In addition, this lunar phase is the best time to plant vines, fertilize the soil, mow and work the inter rows. This is also a great time to encourage soil life through herbal preparations of nettles, horsetails, comfreys and ferns.
In the cellar, this lunar period is appropriate for racking the wine and bottling it. Therefore, the 2018 vintage was bottled on November 12, 2020, in the waning moon.
Rise of sap and liveliness : Ascending Moon
In ascending moon, the rise of the sap of the vine is more and more important. All the energy is concentrated in the "aerial" part of the vine. When the sap circulates, it rises faster to the top of the vine shoots or new branches. The waxing moon is also the right time for the practice of grafting. It is also the perfect time for autumn sowing to strengthen the land with vetch, oats and wheat.
It is not always easy to respect the lunar phases on a complicated vintage like 2018. Spring and the beginning of summer saw several episodes of rain limiting certain applications of herbal teas and decoctions of horsetail and nettle to fight against the strong pressure of mildew. But, fortunately, the summer and the beginning of autumn were generous in sun to give a wonderful grape.
2018 : from new moon to full moon
The year 2018 had 12 new moons and 13 full moons. The New Moon marks the beginning of a period when the Moon is no longer visible to the naked eye in the sky. Even if its face is hidden, it exerts pressure on the plants and invites reflection before action. The Moon is waxing from new Moon to full Moon. While the full moon marks the apogee of this star since it is the moment when the energies of the Moon are increased tenfold. And, the Moon is waning from Full Moon to New Moon.
As the harvest weather conditions were perfect for deciding when to pick the grapes. It was on September 29, 2018 with a waning and rising gibbous moon that the 2018 vintage entered the cellar.
Therefore, the awareness of what Nature gives and the work done at the right time in a favorable environment is central to the concerns of Clos Monicord. Thus, the 2018 vintage labels designed by Audrey are an ode to Nature and the Moon. In order to “remember with humility what we are and what we wish and can consume”. So: "when life gives you grapes, make wine" quote for the culmination of this successful 2018 vintage at Clos Monicord.